Preceptorship is a six to eight-week clinical practicum completed immediately prior to graduation. The practicum prepares students for transition from student to new graduate nurse. Transition to Nursing Practice is the final clinical course where preceptorship is completed and affords students the opportunity to work with and under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) in a hospital setting. The student provides direct patient care, applying theoretical knowledge related to safe and quality patient care. Course faculty maintain oversight of preceptorship and have ongoing communication with preceptors and students throughout the preceptorship. Inquires related to nursing preceptorship may contact the faculty course leader, Mrs. Tanya Johnson, MSN, RN, NE-BC, at
Preceptorship Planning
Planning for preceptorship begins early in fourth semester where course faculty provide an overview of the preceptorship process and present students with potential locations. Unit types include but are not limited to adult and pediatric medical surgical, adult and pediatric critical care, labor & delivery, emergency department, perioperative, and oncology. Students self-request two desired nursing units and three preferred facilities on the Student Preceptorship Request form. Affiliation Agreements between the facility and university, academic standing, and preceptor availability determine final placements. Preceptorship requests and placements are coordinated between AUSON faculty and hospital liaisons.
Preceptorship Locations
Because Affiliation Agreements frequently change, site locations may not be consistent. Students are invited to discuss individual location interest with faculty. Potential locations may include but are not limited to the following:

Preceptorship Locations

  • Auburn/Opelika
  • Alexander City
  • Alabaster
  • Anniston
  • Birmingham
  • Decatur
  • Dothan
  • Gadsden
  • Mobile
  • Montgomery
  • Tuscaloosa
  • Jacksonville 
  • Miramar Beach 
  • Panama City 
  • Pensacola 
  • St. Petersburg 
  • Atlanta
  • Carrolton
  • Columbus
  • Douglasville
  • Fayetteville
  • LaGrange
  • Lawrenceville
  • Macon
  • Marietta
  • Phenix City
  • Rome
  • Chattanooga
  • Knoxville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville

  • Baltimore
  • United States Capital

Preceptorship FAQs

Course faculty and hospital liaisons make every attempt to place students at their requested hospital and unit, however, requested placements are not guaranteed. Faculty will discuss further options with the student if any requests are not possible. 

Many students are placed in out of state hospitals. However, facilities, as a rule, give preference to their ‘in state’ nursing school students. Placements are based on the hospital’s availability of preceptors.  

GPA and HESI scores are considered when there is a need to prioritize student placements and when students request specialty units, such as NICU, L&D. However, academic standing information is never released to hospitals. 

Hospitals notify course faculty of placements at various times throughout the semester. Your patience is of the utmost importance as some hospitals are unable to secure assignments until just a few weeks prior to preceptorship beginning.  

Absolutely not. Hospital liaisons and AUSON course faculty frown upon this practice. There are many factors to consider when making assignments that students and other hospital staff are not aware of. Communication by the student related to preceptorship should be directly through AUSON course faculty.  


Summer Student Nurse Externships have been created to ease the gap between the student’s formal education and the world of nursing practice. Many nursing students have chosen to participate in a summer nursing extern programs to build upon what they have learned in the classroom and clinical setting. Objectives of Student Nurse Summer Externships programs are to:

  1. Increase clinical exposure to patient care areas in order to build on experiences in their nursing programs
  2. Challenge the extern to think critically while using a holistic perspective toward patient care
  3. Foster relationships between the nurse extern and the RN role models and other members of the interdisciplinary health care team
  4. Enhance socialization into the culture of nursing to increase the likelihood that externs will choose an acute care facility as their specialty area upon graduation
  5. Provide opportunities for externs to select the areas in which they wish to practice as professionals
  6. Introduce externs to a realistic clinical employment setting, thus promoting a better transition from student to professional nurse
  7. Encourage networking opportunities for the student nurse
  8. Provide exposure to the fast-paced, specialized and technologically intensive world of nursing

Hospitals and locations which offer Summer Student Nurse Externships include but are not limited to the following:

East Alabama Medical Center
Opelika, AL
Baptist South
Montgomery, AL
Baptist East
Montgomery, AL
Baptist Prattville
Prattville, AL
Jackson Hospital
Montgomery, AL
Grandview Medical Center
Birmingham, AL
St. Vincent’s Hospital
Birmingham, AL
Children’s of Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Students interested in learning more about the summer externship programs should contact: Mrs. Hope Carroll RN,BSN at
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